Friday, July 21, 2006


Reason New censorship for Karaoke: IPR Protection or ... Censorship?

Mike Magnier wrote a funny article 'China's Karaoke Police Have a Request: Do It Mao's Way' for the LA Times, about China's Ministry of Culture which issued new rules to prevent "unhealthy" songs and must help safeguard IPR. A system whereby karaoke bars will choose songs from a central database will be tested in Wuhan, Zhengzhou and Qingdao. If these pilot projects are succesful, it will be implemented nationally.

Magnier wrote: "Beijing says it will not charge those using the database, although karaoke parlors would have to pay applicable copyright fees. That step is part of the government's plan to "gradually" solve intellectual property rights disputes among the recording industry, artists and karaoke parlors."

Magnier interviewed Zhang Xingshui, director of the Beijing Kingdom law firm thinks differently: "They may have multiple motives. They say it's for intellectual property rights protection, but it could be censorship in another form."

Read the article here.

Swap Three Pirated DVDs for One Genuine DVD

Reuters wrote: "For every three pirated discs handed in, a company based in the eastern city of Nanjing would hand over one real one, the China Daily said." Read the Reuters article here.

Update: I found this China Daily article by Wu Jian: 'New Way To Fight Piracy'. Wu interviewed a former pirated disc retailer Luo Linxu:

"We used to earn lots before 2000 when legal products were sold at a very high price. But we can earn only one yuan (12 US cents) or less now on a pirated disc, while the profit margin for a legal one is three to four yuan (37-50 cents)." Read Wu's article here.

Head tips to Shanghaiist, who has some legitimate criticism against a daughter who turns in the DVDs of her counterfeiting father, and worries about which DVD one gets in return, read here.

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